McNulty Prize Catalyst Fund Launches at the Aspen Institute with over $100,000 in Inaugural Grants

McNulty Prize Catalyst Fund Launches at the Aspen Institute with over $100,000 in Inaugural Grants


The Catalyst Fund recognizes and supports innovative social impact ventures at critical moments


New York, NY, July 9, 2018–– The McNulty Foundation announced in a press release the inaugural recipients of the McNulty Prize Catalyst Fund, a new fund at the Aspen Institute to support innovative social ventures at vital inflection points. A total of $110,000 will be granted to six organizations around the world that have proven results and show great potential for further impact.


“Countless ventures that are driving social change are at critical moments to expand their impact,” said Anne Welsh McNulty, President of the John P. and Anne Welsh McNulty Foundation and Trustee of the Aspen Institute. “The Catalyst Fund gives us the opportunity to support many more models of empowering people around the world. The multiplier effect is enormous.”


The Catalyst Fund builds on a decade of impact with the McNulty Prize, an annual $100,000 award given in partnership with the Aspen Institute that honors individuals using their entrepreneurial spirit and expertise to address the world’s toughest challenges. McNulty Prize winners are selected by an international jury that includes Madeleine Albright, Brizio Biondi-Morra and Olara Otunnu, and has previously included Darren Walker, Mary Robinson, Sir Richard Branson and Bill Gates, Sr.


The McNulty Prize Catalyst Fund was established in 2017 to provide unrestricted support to exceptional and promising ventures. A matching grant from the McNulty Foundation and donations from David Blood, the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, and the Nancy & George Walker Foundation, among many others, honored the legacy of John P. McNulty with over $1.2 million in contributions to the Fund.


From building the college-to-career pipeline in state universities across the US, to deepening economic resilience in global fishing communities, to training the next generation of Haitian teachers who are transforming education outcomes, to magnifying the voices of DREAMers in America, the inaugural recipients are all effecting positive change for individuals and communities throughout the globe and poised for significant growth in the coming years.


Read more about the 2018 Catalyst Fund recipients:


Las Claras | Panama

Strengthening leadership, education and career prospects for teen mothers, and preventing teen pregnancy in the first place, Gisela Porras, Panama’s former Vice Minister of Finance, is working to eradicate harmful conditions for women and girls that perpetuate poverty and social exclusion. Through a holistic collective impact model, Las Claras is poised to double their number of participants and expand to more communities.


Anseye Pou Ayiti (Teach for Haiti) | Haiti

Through a grassroots approach focusing on local talent, culture and community, former head of Chicago Public Schools Jean-Claude Brizard is training cohorts of Haitian teachers capable of altering the country’s education outcomes, and with it the social and economic trajectory of its children and society as a whole. The venture is on track to grow 40% in 2018 and aims to reach 16,000 students by 2020.


Student DREAMers Alliance | United States

Executive Director of South Carolina’s Hispanic Alliance Adela Mendoza is breaking the cycle of exclusion by providing youth leadership and scholarship opportunities for DREAMers, and advocating for statewide legislative action. Entering new school districts this year, the program is on a path to be statewide.


Braven | United States

Aimée Eubanks Davis is using her experience as a teacher and head of talent for Teach for America to launch Braven, which imparts crucial employability and life skills to first-generation and low-income college students at large public universities to transition them into jobs and careers worthy of their degrees. Braven is on the cusp of dramatically scaling their program within existing and new institutions.


Acumen – Fellows Program | Global

Jacqueline Novogratz redefined philanthropy and social entrepreneurship with Acumen’s theory of ‘patient capital’. Its Fellows Program builds moral leaders with a group-based seminar model that calls on them to think ethically about their power and responsibility as social entrepreneurs. The successful model will be expanding from three to 15 geographies by 2020.


Rare – Fish Forever | Global

Conservationist Brett Jenks began Fish Forever to reverse the global decline of small-scale fisheries and tropical marine habitats by empowering local communities to protect and manage the resources they depend on, so that both people and nature can thrive. Fish Forever continues to scale and deepen the economic resilience of fishing communities by investing in new technology, and providing access to capital.


The recipients will be celebrated alongside the announcement of the 2018 McNulty Prize Laureates, and an interview with Darren Walker on July 25. Watch the event on July 25, at 2:45pm MDT:


For more information, visit Follow @McNultyPrize on Twitter and join the conversation using #McNultyPrize.

Contact: Nina Sawhney, McNulty Foundation,

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